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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 30, 1998     The Message
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January 30, 1998

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=nua 30, !997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 There is good news By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER There are Wonderful indications that Catholic . Our diocese continue to exercise their pri- t to educate their children. They are striving responsibility both to their community. It is indeed a twofold ! from the rights of parents. II visited Cuba last week. There, more, parents have not had the fully exercise their rights as primary children. Even before he arrived, the aboard his plane to position about the by parents: have conferred life on their chil- Father affirmed, "they have a solemn their offspring .... r role as educators is so decisive that scarce- i for their failure in it .... area of education public authority and duties, since it must serve the Nonetheless, this does not give pub- , to take the place of parents." Week has been dedicated to celebrating " Annually, iife in Catholic Schools is highlighted for two reasons: 1) to celebrate success of Catholic Schools as worthy assistants to parents in fulfilling their right and responsibility to educate their children; 2) to encourage other parents to choose the Catholic School environment especially for its ability to assist parents in passing onthe faith. Public authority in our country seems to accept Catholic schools grudgingly. Although it has been shown time and time again that Catholic schools ben- efit the common good in so many ways, public assis- tance is minimal, so powerful is the public school lobby. Nonetheless, we must celebrate the fact that we are free to have them with recognition by public authority. That has not been the case in our neighbor- ing country of Cuba. Parents in Cuba do not have the freedom of choice for the education of their children. For those who may continue to wonder about my position about the value of Catholic Schools as wor- thy and valuable assistants to parents, I will restate it. Catholic schools are the best help we, the Church, can provide for Catholic parents as they face their right and responsibility as the first teachers of their children. No program for religious education, no matter how good or complete, can compare to the Catholic School environment for learning and assimi- lation of the Catholic faith and tradition. There is other good news. Even though Catholic Schools are not available to all our people, there are signs that Catholic parents do take advantage of sound religious education programs provided in the parishes. This past week, in preparation for celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation, I continue to be inspired by reading letters from candidates. Youngsters from St. Benedict Church in Evansville and St. Mary Church in Ireland wrote me about their desire for confirmation. I read all their letters. I watch for what is written and what is not. In every case, I am uplifted by the faith of these young people. The young people from St. Mary in Ireland told me more than their words. Their words expressed their faithful attendance, and their absences, at the parish Religious Education held each Wednesday evening. Many reported their participation in a Catholic school up to grade six. Catholic school beyond that was not available for parents to choose. Parents of these young people have made Reli- gious Education for their children a priority. Even though the youngsters did not say it in their own words they did by their attendance records. The par- ents of these young people obviously insisted on their participation. These parents recognized this opportunity for their children to learn the faith in the" Roman Catholic tradition beyond which they, the parents, could provide alone in the home. There is good news in our Diocese about Catholic parents in exercising their right and responsibility to educate their children in the faith. Let us celebrate the Tradition!!! n0W do you know that your parents believe in God? : ,:,,s iSS.e o ettctine .  the Message, to him. He said that God pulled "iQer: oZSter Gera " the  senta,. . ldme 'terial 'luestion related to (h fOUnd in Faith Alive I ;a. 9) to Ann Freedman, Y;00i: t. 00v00del ch.r00h st SeS 'oo, ng are excervted lst.d r  her iun;,,. - "'"'s. , ,u, mgh him through it. Adam Koester, Grade 6 Parents 00ank Yhae- g them a - -- "r wi., nother " ,, m their family. l aad l'li.for Our ood k 0r keeping ussafe.  o bless us with    together. : that Y more ways I  Y Parents believe :, Yhve me Zo. I- practice I)QI: ere are just a few lh l ' ray mother attending St. t School and aend- gh School l) for the together day. about : and just about to our about how so beauti- ones, have ay I'm to go on par- e6 As far back as I can remem- ber my parents come into my room at night and we would say our prayers. Most of the time they would come at dif- ferent times and would say dif- ferent prayers. When I said my prayers with my morn we would say what we are thank- ful for after that prayer. Throughout my life my parents loved me and I loved them, and I know that they love and believe in God. Rayne M. Bitter, Grade 6 One way I can tell my par- ents believe in God is that we all have to go to church either on Saturday of Sunday. The only way we don't have to go is if we are really sick. We even have to stay for the whole Mass. We cannot leave during communion or right after com- munion. Another was that I know that they believe in God is that when I was a little girl, every night my mom tucked me into bed and lay down with me for awhile. She didn't just lay with me, she prayed. Even though I had my eyes closed, I heard her soft words. I didn't know what her words meant, but I know exactly what she said. She prayed the Our Father, Hail Mary, and a bedtime prayer. I said the bedtime prayer with her. Then after she prayed, I fell asleep. My parents also have a cru- cifix in their bedroom on their wall. When we eat supper together, we pray before we eat. My parents also read the Holy Bible. Keri Schmitt, Grade 6 In growing up, I have wit- nessed my parent's faith in God through their words and actions. My parents took me to church every weekend. They explained who Jesus was and everything he accomplished during his lifetime. I learned the Lord's Prayer when I was four by listening to my parents recite it. They have always encouraged me to learn more about my faith. My par- ents have sent me to Vocation Bible School and St. Wendel Catholic school. From these places I have received an edu- cation and learned about Chris- tian values. My parents have encouraged me to partake in the sacraments. My parents have taught me the importance of believing in God. Their examples have allowed me to bring God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Catholic faith into my heart and mind. Jamie Bruggeman, Grade 8 My parents show their Chris- tianity every day by their actions toward others. They always tell me to keep in mind that Jesus will always be with us in our prayers and thoughts. Kimberly Will, Grade 8 My mom has a old necklace with a crucifix on it. She wears it every now and then. She is one of the people who taught me about God. She usually comes into my room and says my prayers with me. She also has an old Bible in her room. It means a lot to her. My morn also makes us say a prayer before we eat. She is not the only one that believes in God. My dad also bellves in God. He takes the whole family to church. He also says my prayers with me in my room. A couple months after I was born he had an accident. He thinks that God wanted it to happen to him. My dad goes around telling people what happened I was about seven years old, when I realized the deep faith my parents had in God.. MF family was going through some problems and adjustments. My father was attending meetings to help him stop drinking and my dad's brother had been diagnosed having cancer. Dur- ing this time, my father was very depressed but he never gave up. He went to his meet- ings at the hospital and prayed for God's help. As time went by, my uncle' s condition became much worse. The doctors did not give much hope for a cure or possible remission of the cancer. It was decided amongst the family that my uncle should come home to be with his family in his final days. One evening I shall not forget was before my uncle died. My dad came home from a meeting and went to his room and spent the majority of the night pray- ing. He prayed for God's help and that his brother would find peace from the pain he was suf- fering. He prayed that his broth- er would die a peaceful death while sleeping. We found out the next day that my uncle had died in his sleep that night. This experience showed me that God is always listening and willing to help. Kendra Paul, Grade 8 The first time I really noticed that my parents believed in God was after the death of Arma, my younger sister, five years ago. Before she died, my parents would take us to church once a week and sometimes say prayers before we went to bed at night. Now my parents go to church twice on Sunday and my dad goes to church every week- day. We say the rosary as a fam- ily every Saturday and Sunday. My patents believed that God sent Anna to them not only to be their dauht- b-at ai to.brtn 8 , , them closer to GOd. Anna's life brought us sadness but ulti- mately joy. When she was sick, my parents would pray for her recovery and ask God to help comfort her. Doing this brought them closer to God. Overall, Anna had the most impact on how my parents  think about God. I now see the importance God played in our lives with helping my family to cope with the loss of Anna. Through prayer we have become a stronger family. Sarah Martin, Grade 7 During the Christmas of 1992, l fully realized the importance GOd had in my famil): My Dad had gone to the hospital to have a cyst removed. From a blood test, doctors diagnosed my Dad with having leukemia. Doctors advised my father to seek treatment at an Indianapo- lis hospital. It was a very long year. The people of the commu- nity offered up prayers and con- tributed money to help pay for medical costs. My Dad was very lucky. One of my uncle's bone marrow type matched his. The doctors were able to do a transplant opera- tion. The operation was a suc- cess. Throughout this trial, I expe- rienced Cod's strength through my family and neighbors" actions. Prayer has brought my family closer together. We all have a greater value of life which God has given us to share. Austin Lipking, Grade'/'